Growing Alcoholism And Smoking Among Teenagers: Where Has The Innocence Gone?

Posted on October 5, 2012 in Health & Life

By Ashima Gujral:

Last night was a new revelation for me. It was a friend’s birthday and he had arranged for a terrace party at his residence for all of us. Unlike the usual luncheons or early evening parties we always used to have, this party started late in the evening and continued till late at night. And this was not the only difference I saw. There was a proper arrangement for alcohol for the birthday party of nineteen-year-old. And not just alcohol, the party also catered to those who wanted to smoke. I was shocked and scared when I realized that I was the only non-smoker/teetotaller at the party. Feeling out of place among my own friends and after successfully rejecting their pleas for trying my hands at both, I withdrew into a corner and started pondering over what I had just witnessed. Were these the same set of friends who had just passed out of school with me an year ago?

The people I believed would always refrain from such bad habits were so drunk that they hardly knew what they were saying, most of them were unable to handle their glasses and some were busy throwing up. Sadly, I realized that alcoholism and smoking had gripped my friends badly and they were now victims who were intentionally or unintentionally ruining themselves.

But what can be the reason behind this? The thrill of trying everything at the first possible opportunity? Or the peer pressure and the inferiority complex we face if we do not indulge in smoking and drinking in order to give company to our friends? But is all of this superior to what is right? We all know the ill-effects of smoking and drinking, I do not need to enumerate them for the nth time, but considering the situation my friends are in, I feel sad for them. The legal age set by the government for drinking in Delhi, is twenty-five years, which is yet another example of their non-functional policies and failed attempts to take charge of the situation.

However, surprisingly, parents today are way too liberal and are okay with their children inculcating such vices. Parents I believe can be a major influence on their children, even today and are capable of curbing them from developing these pathetic habits and thus protecting them from a dark future. We have all seen numerous examples of people ruining themselves in terms of their health, relationships and careers just because smoking and alcohol got the better part of them. I hope that my friends and numerous other youngsters like them get over the thrill induced by alcoholism and smoking and work upon bringing their lives on the right track.

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neeraj ramchandran

Very relevant article for all young adults. I lost a good friend to drunken driving and I know how difficult it is for parents to cope with that.


so, we’re allowed to marry, vote, and have sex before we can drink and smoke?

I say, do what you want. Try new things and enjoy your youth however you want.

If you don’t wish to do certain things, then don’t. It is a choice you have and not one that you can impose on other people. The important thing is to be educated and to be responsible. My friends and I started drinking (and smoking) at a young age. We were and still are responsible and safe.

What is it that you don’t like about drinking and smoking? The title of the article and the occurrence of the word ‘innocence’ suggest a qualitative judgment. Your friends and there to be judged by you. They don’t have to meet your approval to enjoy themselves or to be happy. Also the phrase “parents today are way too liberal” is incredibly judgmental too. You can’t really tell people how they should raise the children they gave birth too. And are you sure you any experience or authority to do so? I rather doubt it.

Just to be clear, alcoholism is a disease. Let’s not trivialise it by likening it to a drunk teenage party.

What are you scared of? The fact that your friends are changing? That they were drunk and couldn’t control themselves? Sometimes it’s difficult and annoying to be the sober one at a party when you aren’t prepared for it. It’s also interesting and good to not be in control all the time. People find different ways to do this. When you’re young, these things can be exciting.

Take a step back and relax.

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